Now everyone knows that nobody is safe from The Angry Pharmacist(tm). I always wonder why I never get featured in Drug Topics or any other pharmacy magazine that pharmacists read while taking a dump. I guess I’m too hard core (or use bad words way too often) to be in any cool magazines.
Mail order places get kickbacks from the insurance companies. Yes, I said kickbacks (not rebates, but fucking bribes/kickbacks). Why cant retail pharmacies dispense a 3 month supply for 1 copay (without losing money, a la Walgreens Medicare part D). Why do mail order joints get special deals on “Mail Order Only” test strips and supplies? Why do mail order (and hospital) pharmacies get special price breaks on generics? Oh, kickbacks. Did I mention that some insurance companies will only allow 3 fills at a retail pharmacy before mandating the patient use their mail order pharmacy? How can you say thats not kickbacks. Seriously, get your head out of your ass and wake up and realize that Mail Order pharmacies and the insurance company’s asshole they screw every night are making not only us retail folk look like money-grabbing bastards (“how dare you charge me $5.00 copay/drug a month! I get $5 for 3 months from my local mail order pharmacy!”) but………….
They waste our time! How many of you retail folks have had a Mail Order patient come in with a sad-panda face and an empty mail order bottle saying “Uh, my mail order medication got ‘lost in the mail(tm)’. Can I have a few atenolol so I dont die?” The Angry Pharmacist(tm) in me wants to say “Fuck you! You said that I was ripping you off for charging you a copay every month (because their insurance company wont let us fill a 90d supply, only their mail orders get to do that) and now you come begging and groveling to me for medication because it got lost in the mail? HAHAHAHA DIE!” but the actual pharmacist in me doesn’t want to see more of the MediCare money (that i’ll never see) wasted on a pointless ER visit (see DrugNazi, I care). So I charge him a whopping dollar for like a week of atenolol and send him on his merry way to go fuck me behind my back with his Mail Order Pharmacy mistress.
Patient comes in (who you know goes mail order) with a brand new testing machine. They plop it on the counter and wish to know how to use it. They said “The mail order pharmacy said to just take it in to any retail pharmacy and they’ll show me how to use it”. Uh, go fuck yourself? Do I work for the mail order pharmacy? Is my employer going to be happy that his over $1/min pharmacist is out helping a patient (who will never trade with us) with his machine that another pharmacy made a fat profit on? Let me consult you on the medications that Walgreens filled for you while I’m at it. We all know those chain pukes are too busy to actually do anything than shovel Rx’s out the door and drink coffee, so let me do their jobs for them (for free!).
Oh, yeah, mail order pharmacies.
Lets just say that I hate Mail Order Pharmacies. Plain and simple. If you work for a Mail Order pharmacy, seek a career as a prostitute or maybe a Drug Rep or something. My hatred is from a multitude of colorful points that every retail grunt knows:
While I’m ragging on “The Pharmacy America Trusts(tm)(r)(blah)”, did anyone read the article on how a Walgreens DC has over 40% of its employees have a “physical or cognitive disability”? Now I realize this is a distribution center and not an actual store, but have you ever tried to get a copy from a Walgreens? Have you ever tried to speak with one of their clerks? Yeah, I’ll just stop right there. As a sidenote guess how many of my Walgreen buddies got a fax when that article came out. I’m so loved. Back to hating on Mail Order.
Doctors offices are even getting bribes from Mail Order joints. We have had more than one patient suddenly (and unknown to him/her) that all of his Rx’s were mysterously filled by a mail order pharmacy (we tried to fill them, and the insurance company gave the reject). A few phone calls later we found out that this Mail Order pharmacy that “partners with the doctor” magically got a full copy of all the meds this patient was on, and filled them without the patient even knowing what was going on. The pretense was that the medication was going to be “Waiting for the patient in the doctors office” so they “Didnt need a trip to the pharmacy”. Did I mention that said mail-order joint filled a 3 month supply when the insurance company put a 30 day restriction on retail? Amazing how fast the claims got reversed when the word “kickback” and “bribe” got thrown around between us and said Doctor/Mail Order Pharmacy.
So what can us retail folk do about this? Complain to the insurance companies? No, they are in on it. Complain to the Doctor? They don’t care, not their problem. Complain to the State Board of Pharmacy? HA! The Mail Order place is in another state, good luck!
Guess we bend over and take it. The problem is that unless we are total incompassionate dicks (not only a failure to our profession) and make folks go to the ER when their mail order shipment gets “lost”, they will never learn. Unfortunately I’ll be the first to admit that even I am not that much of an asshole. I have to ™ my shit or else the angriest pharmacist will steal it(tm). Heh.